Women Entrepreneurs Win Big at Communitech Pitch Competition

Most people don’t go willingly to a bootcamp.

A bootcamp is hard work. Recruits are pushed to their limits. Sometimes there are tears and pain.

But, a bootcamp can also lead to growth and glory.

At the Communitech Women Entrepreneurs Bootcamp pitch competition, this proved to be true.

On Thursday, Oct. 1, a crowd gathered at the Tannery Event Centre to watch the top eight women pitch their companies to a panel of judges. The growth? Many of these pitches had started as an idea just one short month ago. The glory? Cash prizes of $100,000 to be won.

The top eight female-led companies picked to pitch came from across Canada, and represented businesses focused on a wide variety of sectors including travel, construction and financials.

Gayemarie Brown, the National Innovation Leader at Deloitte Canada and one of the competition judges, was impressed with the calibre of ideas the women brought to the table.

“This is putting money where your mouth is,” Brown said of the programming and of Deloitte’s financial support for the boot camp. “This is real. I can mentor, show up and judge, but [these women are] our future. Our future is bright.”

Brown, along with Carol Leaman, CEO, Axonify; Steve McCartney, VP Startup Services, Communitech; Sunil Sharma, Managing Partner, Extreme Venture Partners; and Rachel Pautler, CEO, Suncayr, listened to the eight three-minute pitches and followed up with direct and difficult questions about the companies’ financial forecasting and customer acquisition plans.

The judges awarded three top prizes: First place, and $35,000, went to Sarah Murphy of Sentinel Alert, an app that works to prevent industrial injuries.

Renishaki Kamal of Fidget, which develops tools for children with autism, placed second and won $25,000.

Alexa Roeper of Penta Medical took home third place and a $15,000 cheque for her company, which uses laser therapy bandages to speed up orthopedic recovery.

The remaining five finalists were each awarded $5,000.

Read the rest of this article on Communitech.